The Economist reports:
THE armed forces and homosexuality do not make natural bedfellows. Though tales from ancient Greece vaunt the heroism of gay soldiers, modern armies are mostly squeamish on the subject. So when New Zealand’s brass let its soldiers participate in a gay-pride parade, it helped put the country first on a new index that ranks 103 of the world’s armed forces by how open they are to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Countries at the bottom of the list—compiled by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, based on 21 indicators across five categories—are mostly those where homosexuality is a crime or considered an illness. Yet surprises abound. America’s relatively low ranking at 40th is largely because it bans transgender personnel, though it has gay-friendly policies. In Israel, where military issues are ever-present, the army seems more progressive than society. Only 40% of the population accept homosexuality, whereas the armed forces completely opened up to LGBT people in 1993, almost a decade before Britain (which is tied for second).
Anyone who thinks gays or lesbians shouldn’t be soldiers should go try saying that to an Israeli combat unit!Tags: country rankings, gay, NZ Defence Force